David Swanson

Shooting Handcuffed Children in Afghanistan

 

 By David Swanson 
Silly me. I thought I could comment on something that was in the news without proving that it was in the news. Maybe this will help:
UN says Afghans slain in troop raid were students By DUSAN STOJANOVIC, Associated Press Writer, Thu Dec 31, 1:26 pm ET http://news. yahoo.com/ s/ap/20091231/ ap_on_re_ as/as_afghanista n_un

KABUL – The United Nations said Thursday that a weekend raid by foreign troops in a tense eastern Afghan province killed eight local students and warned against nighttime actions by coalition forces because they often cause civilian deaths.

The Afghan government said its investigation has established that all 10 people killed Sunday in a remote village in Kunar province were civilians. Its officials said that eight of those killed were schoolchildren aged 12-14. . . .

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Army's Shopping Mall Game Center Shut Down By Protests

 By David Swanson  (This article first appeared on After Downing Street)

The Army Experience Center, an amusement hall built in a Philadelphia area shopping mall to make killing and dying look like fun to kids, has been the focus of repeated protests and criticism.  This past weekend hundreds again protested at the AEC, and police arrested six protesters and one journalist.  The journalist was not with the protesters, and was picked out of a crowd, apparently because of her professional camera.
 
photos from AEC protest; video from NBC Philly

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U.S. Govt. Threatens to Prosecute Waterboarding

By David Swanson
 
People have been protesting and lobbying the Department of Justice all these months without realizing that the key to justice lay in the Department of the Interior, and specifically in the National Park Service, which has told activist Steve Lane he will be prosecuted if he attempts to demonstrate waterboarding at Thursday's anti-torture rally in Washington, D.C. The permit for the rally reads "Waterboarding exhibit will not be allowed for safety reasons."
 
Of course it's not news that the government views waterboarding as a crime. Attorney General Eric Holder called it torture at his confirmation hearings. But it is news that someone has been threatened with prosecution if he engages in torture. We learn about ongoing torture by the government all the time, and we're told all the time that torture is no longer official policy, and yet in neither type of story is there ever any suggestion that the laws against torture might be enforced, now or in the future. In the government's view, torture must be less safe when performed without the benefit of government resources, doctors, lawyers, psychologists, videographers, and vice presidents. However, street demonstrations of waterboarding have yet to produce a single corpse to add to the pile produced by official U.S. government torture.

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I've Seen 1,200 Torture Photos

 By David Swanson

 This moment, in which the Attorney General of the United States claims to be considering the possibility of allowing our laws against torture to be enforced seems a good one in which to reveal that I have seen over 1,200 torture photos and a dozen videos that are in the possession of the United States military. These are photographs depicting torture, the victims of torture, and other inhuman and degrading treatment. Several videos show a prisoner intentionally slamming his head face-first very hard into a metal door. Guards filmed this from several angles rather than stopping it.
 
The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) of Australia revealed several of these photographs, video of the head slamming, and video of prisoners forced to masturbate, as part of a news report broadcast in 2006. But the full collection has not been made available to the public or to a special prosecutor, although it was shown to members of Congress in 2004. When these photos are eventually made public, I encourage you to take a good look at them. After you get over feeling ill, it might be appropriate to consider Congress' past 5 years of inaction. You'll be able to feel sick all over again.

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About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.